Special thanks to ODNR Wildlife Officers Scott Denamen and Matthew Madgar, as well as Police Chief Kevin Wyant and Lt. Todd Dietzel for the very informative "Living with Coyotes" meeting last night.
If you were unable to attend, click the following link to view the meeting recording: https://youtu.be/fOaxarIUkA4
MORELAND HILLS COYOTE MEETING
SUMMARY BULLET POINTS
MARCH 9, 2021 AT 18:00 HOURS
Conversation led by:
ODNR Wildlife Officer Scott Denamen
ODNR Wildlife Officer Matt Madgar
Moreland Hills Police Chief Keven Wyant
Moreland Hills Lieutenant Todd Dietzel
- Coyotes are present in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. Additionally, these animals have made their home in areas such as downtown Detroit, Los Angeles and even in Central Park in NYC.
- Attacks on humans are incredibly rare. Officers stated you are more at risk from slipping on the ice or other daily activities.
- Attacks on pets can occur. The coyotes are typically more aggressive during the mating and birthing months that encompass January, February and March each year. The coyotes tend to be more protective and territorial during this mating season. This point appears to be relevant in Moreland as most reported sightings are taking place during these months.
- After the mating season, while attacks on pets can still take place, the incidence is reduced as the coyotes tend to be less aggressive after the mating season. Officers stressed that safe practices with pets should take place year-round.
- Coyotes can scale fences. Question must be asked as to why they would do so? Food left outside, presence of squirrels and other small rodents? Measures can be taken to make the yard less ideal. Resident Bob Norwick suggested a tray underneath bird feeder so that seed is caught before hitting the ground thus reducing the presence of squirrels and chipmunks. Bob has noted that the presence of small rodents has decreased by using this product.
- Overwhelmingly the Officers stressed that we can live in harmony with coyotes and communities all over the state and Country do so. They are a native animal and a sign of a healthy local ecosystem.
- Residents have inquired about culling or thinning the presence of coyotes. Officers stated this is an exercise in futility. If a community removes a few animals the area re-opens to other animals and more coyotes then move in. Unlike deer, culling coyotes is a very difficult practice and is not administered or recommended by the ODNR.
- There was discussion on whether Moreland Hills has “a problem” with these animals. The input from the Moreland Hills Police Department suggested that we have concerned residents but that we do not have a “problem” as defined by attacks or reports of overly aggressive animals. It was noted that the two neighborhoods expressing concerns are adjacent to the South Chagrin Metroparks.
- Mayor Fritz brought up a concern from a Bentleyville Road resident who reported a “stare down” with her smaller dog and a coyote. The coyote would not leave when yelled at or clapped at. Officers stated that one incidence of this activity is not necessarily indicative of a nuisance animal. Coyotes in our area are inquisitive and are familiar with people, cars, buildings and noise. If this action should continue then the resident may wish to utilize a nuisance trapper. A nuisance trapper can be expensive as there is a cost of coming out to set up trap, daily checks to prevent animals from suffering over a period of days and then the capture of the animal. Added up, these practices can be quite costly.
- Councilwoman VanderHart pointed out that as a licensed Veterinarian and animal advocate she does not recommend that residents hire nuisance trappers as the snare method can be quite painful and inhumane. Especially when considering the fact that the risk of attack is quite low.
- Mayor Fritz agreed with Councilwoman VanderHart and suggested that a nuisance trapper should not be recommended for the resident who merely sees an animal. The nuisance trapper should only be recommended for a known aggressive and dangerous animal.
- Councilman Ethan Spencer discussed his personal situation whereby he has limited the presence of small rodents and raccoons by eliminating sunflower seed bird feeders and other food sources. He inquired as to what else a resident can do to help reduce the presence of coyote food sources.
- Officers referred to website information including the need to eliminate outdoor pet food, clean the grill area, avoid garbage cans being stored outside when an indoor (garage) option exists.
- Officers recommended reading Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History by Dan Flores. The book does a great job of describing the traits and habits of the coyote. The Village has purchased three copies of this book and will make them available for loan to any resident interested in reading the book. Officers stressed that more education will help to reduce fear amongst the residents.
- Moreland Hills Police Lieutenant Todd Dietzel detailed the Village’s prohibition on the discharge of a firearm within our borders.
- The hunting of coyotes using a bow or gun is not a permitted action in the Village of Moreland Hills. If a resident were to hire a nuisance trapper they must be made aware of our prohibition on the use of firearms and bows.
- The rumor circulating the Village regarding a Moreland Police Officer who shot a coyote on Greentree is false. Officers will not arrive and shoot an animal in the Village unless it has been heavily injured and cannot walk. Residents should not expect our Officers to shoot an animal that is not severely injured. The police response will be to document and pass along the information to ODNR for consultation.